Month: December 2017

Taking a Brief Break…

We hope you have had a lovely holiday surrounded by the hope, joy, love, and peace of Christ. If you missed our Christmas services, check back this afternoon for the message video.

This week, you will notice a brief break from posting on the blog. When we pick up next week, Pastor Aaron will lead us taking a deeper look at the example of Stephen from Acts 6-7.

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! As I reflect on our Christmas Eve services this weekend, it was truly incredible. We welcomed over 6,800 people over the 6 services. Thank you for being part of our celebrations and giving so generously to the Christmas Eve Offering; an update is coming soon! I want to especially thank our talented ministry partners, making Living Word the incredible church it is.

Here are a few images from our Christmas Eve services.

– From the staff at Living Word, we wish you a Merry Christmas full of God’s love, grace, and peace.

Remember… 
Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor does he sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, goodwill to men

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White Christmas at Living Word?

Have you ever wanted to see Living Word and the expansion from a bird’s eye view? One of our ministry partners captured this view from a recent Sunday morning and we want to share it with you!

Don’t forget to bring a friend to church in the new year! This could be the beginning of a lifelong journey – the best resolution anyone could ever make.


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10 Christmas Favorites || Guest Blog by Lisa Long

10 Things I Love About the Christmas Season by Lisa Long

  1. Anticipating Christmas. I love to read through a different Advent devotional each year. It really helps set the tone for the whole season.
  2. Watching Christmas movies with the family, even though they refuse to watch It’s a Wonderful Life with me! The Muppet Christmas Carol is my second favorite (it’s surprisingly true to Dickens).
  3. Listening to Christmas music (AFTER Thanksgiving). I’ve always loved the traditional Christmas carol, We Three Kings. A newer favorite is Mary Did You Know?
  4. Eating peppermint bark. Homemade or store-bought, it’s all good.
  5. Sitting by the fireplace, with the only illumination coming from the flames and candles.
  6. Wrapping gifts. I really do enjoy it—especially in combination with #3, #4, and #5.
  7. Having all of our young adults under one roof again (however briefly).
  8. Watching the snow fall.
  9. Attending a Christmas Eve candlelight service. This service is always so meaningful and makes me think of all the other Christians throughout the world who are celebrating Jesus’ birth along with us.
  10. Spending Christmas Day with my Mom, Dad, and extended family. We’ll have 19 people at my parents’ house this year!

My prayer for you this Christmas …

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7 Christmas Favorites || Guest Blog by Adam Dacheux

Today, get to know the 7 favorite Christmas traditions and experiences of Adam Dacheux.

  1. The smell of a fresh cut pine tree in the house. Or in our case this year, a crooked parking lot pine tree. Never again.
  2. The seemingly endless flow of cookies and sweets.
  3. Hearing my favorite Christmas song, O Holy Night.
  4. Being reunited with distant family.
  5. Giving and receiving presents.
  6. A white Christmas is always a special treat. A wet Christmas, not so much.
  7. The stillness that Christmas Day can bring . . . where the constant hum of a busy world ceases for a moment and our only focus is being with the ones we love.

May the spirit of God surround your homes and loved ones as you gather and celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas.

Adam

P.S. And a special blessing to those who face the daunting task of freeing that new toy from its packaging, untwisting and chopping through the many straps that hold it in its cardboard jail. Godspeed to you!

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13 Christmas Favorites || Guest Blog by Jay Baer

Today, get to know the 13 favorite Christmas traditions and experience by Jay Baer.

Jay Baer, Pulse Director (Grades 7 & 8) and student::life Worship Director

  1. Christmas music on repeat from the moment the Macy’s Parade ends until well into January. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the form of a full orchestra, an electric guitar solo, a pop vocal, or a soft croon—I love every last note.
  2. The smell of Christmas cookies baking in the oven and the extra encouragement to hit the gym that they bring as I devour them.
  3. I love gift giving. Finding the perfect gift for a person and seeing their excitement is better than anything I could receive.
  4. Reading Advent devotionals and appreciating that time of waiting and patience are often some of my deepest times with God.
  5.  Driving around and looking at Christmas light displays on a cold winter night.
  6. Hanging out of the second story window of my house like Spiderman trying to make my own Christmas light display.
  7. Walking around New York City at Christmas time with my wife Abby, especially visiting the tree at Rockefeller Center where I proposed 10 years ago this year!
  8. Every year on December 23 I

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10 Christmas Favorites || Guest Blog by Diana Kleinmanns

Today, we are happy to have another guest blogger in our new Christmas favorites series with Diana sharing the 10 things she loves most about the Christmas season.

Diana Kleinmanns, Worship Leader

  1. Spending time with family. I don’t get to go home to New Jersey too often, so it’s always a sweet time when everyone is together!
  2. Gift giving. I LOVE giving gifts! However, I find it difficult to keep exciting secrets/surprises, so Christmas morning is a huge relief for me.
  3. Christmas lights. On your house, on your trees, IN your house, everywhere! (Secret: I have Christmas lights hung in my apartment year-round).
  4. The emotions of the season. There’s just a tangible sense of excitement, joy, hope, longing, peace, and love in the air during the Christmas season.
  5. Drinking hot chocolate, my favorite! The more marshmallows the better.
  6. Having a fully decorated tree in my living room.
  7. All the food. No one expects you to eat well over the Christmas season. It’s a free pass.
  8. Watching my cats play in the boxes, wrapping paper, ribbon, etc. under the tree on Christmas morning.
  9. Watching Christmas movies with my family. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a favorite. “That nose! That beautiful, wonderful

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9 Christmas Favorites || Guest Blog by Cass Delp

Can you believe that Christmas is only 1 week away?! Today we are starting a new blog mini-series called What I Love About Christmas, featuring a few staff members from Living Word.

9 Things I Love About the Christmas Season by Cass Delp, kid::life Director

  1. Spending time with family and catching up with those I don’t see very often. Growing up, I had three cousins who I did everything with. We were so close we called ourselves the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (I was Michelangelo 😊.)
  2. Decorating. My husband, Bob, gave me a Hallmark Christmas Ornament our first Christmas as a couple (1999) and then on our first Christmas as a married couple (2001). Each year we put those ornaments on the tree together. It’s such a sweet memory.
  3. Having only Christmas lights on in the house. I’m a clear Christmas lights kind of person all the way! They’re so beautiful to sit back and enjoy the sights of Christmas by.
  4. Christmas morning. Often I am more excited than my kids! I’m usually the first one up and I turn on all the Christmas lights, along with Christmas music. Then I make noise, so they wake up.  Before a gift

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Christmas Eve Services: A Few Things to Know

Christmas Eve is almost here. This year (as it happens every 7 years), Christmas Eve is on a Sunday. That makes this Christmas Eve weekend a little different.

Here are a few things to consider.

First, our Sunday morning services are going to be Christmas Eve services as well.

It is just too hard to put together an entirely different Sunday morning ministry. It is hard on our staff and on the many ministry partners we depend on.

We also realize that for many (most) of you, the day is filled with family times, commitments, and travel. Sunday morning church happens 52 times a year. Christmas Eve happens once a year. So, we decided to give you even more options for when you attend a Christmas Eve service. That means you can have a great Christmas Eve experience and have the rest of the day for your family.

Be sure to check the times for Christmas Eve Eve, for the Sunday morning changes, and for the service times the rest of the day.

Second, while Christmas Eve is when we want to spend great time with family, it is also one of the best times of the year to be

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The Christmas Eve Offering

I wanted to make it easy for you to watch (or re-watch) the Christmas Eve Offering videos. The first video explains where the global part of our Christmas Eve Offering will go. The second video describes the many local organizations we will help with this offering.

Global 

Local

Thanks for being a part of our Christmas Eve Offering and blessing many vital ministries that are reaching out to those who have the greatest need. This is one way we participate in the ministry of compassion Jesus describes in Matthew 25:31-46. We can’t always directly help the people described in this passage, but we can help those who do help them.

If you are now using our church app, you can use it to make a contribution to the Christmas Eve Offering. It’s super easy. Once you get things set up (when you use it for the first time), from then on it’s a wonderful way to be on the Generosity Journey.

Together with you, helping those in need,
Pastor Brian

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